Shiba Inu general features, temperament, health

Shiba Inu dog breed photo

FCI # 257, Origin: Japan, Group 5.5 Spitz and Primitive Type. Asian Spitz and related breeds.

Height: 13-16 in, Weight: 15-25 pounds

Grooming: Medium, Shedding: Medium, Coat: Double coat with the soft and thick undercoat.

Color: White, black, black and tan, brindle.

Ease of training: Medium, Energy level: Medium, Span of life: 12-15 years.

Breed: It is obvious, that the ancestors of Shiba Inu came to Japan from the South-East Asia long before our era. There were found the skeletons of dogs, reminding the modern Shiba Inu, that date back to the Stone Age. Primitive paintings and statues of the Bronze Age represent a small dog with erect ears, and a tail, rolled over the back like the ring.

Modern Shiba Inu is the result of a purposeful selective breeding, which was conducted on the basis of three types of small Japanese dog breeds: the San-in, Shin-shu and Mino. San-in - black and white spotted dog, which was larger than the current Shiba. Shin-shu were mostly of a rusty-red color, they had soft, fluffy undercoat and a coarse needle-like outer coat. Closest to the modern Shiba Inu were the dogs of a breed, named Mino. Their shining hair was dark red. All named above ancient breeds had a small erect ears, tail tightly curled up on their backs and deeply set triangular shaped eyes.

Shiba Inu, as well as the other representatives of the Nippon Inu group, was bred for hunting. Approximate translation of the breed's name - Shiba Inu - "small dog from a bush forest." This reflects the purpose of the breed - hunt fowl in the bush with dense undergrowth.

Shiba Inu was often used for hunting a big game: wild boar, deer and even bear. Perhaps some of you have seen a great Japanese movie "The Bear Hunter." It tells about an old hunter, his grandchild and their dogs. These dogs were Shiba Inus, and in this movie, they play a major role.

After 1854 Japan already established some contacts with the foreign countries (before that the islands were closed for the foreigners). In the same time started the frequent import of dogs to the country. Western dogs have acquired a wide popularity in Japan. They not only ousted from the majority of Japanese families the local breeds of dogs, but also greatly influenced the rest of the livestock - Japanese dogs have been actively interbreed with the Western dogs. Help came from the Ministry of Education, which declared Nippon Inu a national treasure and made the breeding of  this dogs in the purity - one of the Japanese honors.

Shiba Inu dog breeds

In the modern Japan the Shiba Inu is very popular. Overcrowding in the country is proverbial, and many breeders specialize in breeding dogs of a small and medium-sized breeds. The Western breeds still have their admirers, but those who prefer the Japanese breeds, very often choose exactly Shiba Inu. The main livestock of these dogs is concentrated in villages, where the Shiba Inu is still indispensable in hunting. Like the "village" dogs from the other countries, Shiba Inu lives sometimes in difficult circumstances. Of course, Shiba is not a homeless bum, and he always has a master who appreciates him, but is not showing any special care. Females of Shiba Inu used to deliver their puppies without assistance in the corners of the cold huts, under the floor of the house, and in case of dire need - in a snow hole. The puppies are fed for a long time - up to six weeks until the kids are not able to independently find or hunt their own food. Most owners feed their dogs, but do it anyhow - mostly with kitchen waste and even that may come only in small quantities. Therefore, the Shiba Inu are very independent in search of food, and they are able to catch their prey with the great agility. They have no hesitation to eat birds, mice, frogs, worms, in short, anything that can at least in some degree enrich their meager menu. They also eat plants: potatoes, vegetables, fruits, roots and sweet buds.

Even in a "civilized" conditions Shiba Inus retain many of their natural skills. They are distinguished by great modesty in eating and they are happy with a surprisingly small amounts of food. Shiba Inu appreciates the warmth and comfort of soft couches, but he can live peacefully in an open aviary. Shiba is very disciplined and cleanly: he will never spoil the owner's belongings, and if he is provided with two walks a day, he will never make his toilet in the house. Even the small three weeks old puppies do their best to leave their "nest", to escape, just not to do their business inside. In the six weeks of age the Shiba Inu puppies already go out of the house or enclosure together with their mother. If after the puppy of Shiba Inu you will see a wet "path", it means that it was quite unbearable for him to hold any longer. Mothers, virtually throughout their whole life together with the puppies, are trying to clean up after them, and often do so when the puppies are already logged in adolescence.

General Features: Shiba Inu is probably the oldest of the six Japanese dog breeds, that are close relatives to each other and are collectively known as the "Nippon Inu". The biggest of them is the Akita Inu and Shiba is the smallest.

A very ancient breed, perhaps a relative to Chow Chow and Kyu-shu. Two thousand years ago, this breed was brought from China to Japan.

These dogs have a pointed muzzle, broad forehead and a black nose. Eyes of the Shiba Inu are small, dark brown. Ears are triangular and erect. The neck is strong. The tail is stout and strong, curled in a tight ring. Shiba's coat is hard, dense, with a thick, very soft undercoat. Colors: red, salt and pepper, red pepper, black pepper, brindle, white, black and tan.

The Shiba Inu is loyal, kind, manageable, brave and very cleanly dog.

Temperament: Nature of Shiba Inu is very peculiar. This dog is very smart and intelligent, and also very devoted to his master, but always makes him realize that his life support is not particularly needed.

Shiba Inu very quickly realizes what is required from him, but if these claims do not correspond to his own views, he would do everything possible to proceed in his own way. If Shiba is found with any prank or obscene, he will try to appease the angry owner with clever tricks and to avoid punishment. To do this, Shiba Inu is using a very wide range of sounds. In the arsenal of Shiba Inu you will find not only simple barking but also a variety of squeaks, gnashing, croaking, grunt, squeals and many more sounds, quite unusual for a dog. Equally rich are his facial expressions, and for every occasion Shiba Inu prepared a special "smile." If you add Shiba's habit to lie on his back, scrawl, twist and perform like a clown in a circus, it is clear that in this case the owner fails to maintain an angry and strict expression of his face and the naughty dog is very often escaping a well-deserved punishment!

Shiba Inu dog breed photo

Unfortunately, punishing Shiba Inu in most of the cases will still be useless. If Shiba believes he is right, then he takes punishment just as some "one-time loss", and after a short period of time he will be back to what was the reason for punishment.

Like many other "primitive" breeds, Shiba Inu has a well developed defensive instincts. Already about 10 days of age in response to an attempt to grab him, the puppy of Shiba with the lightning speed is flipping on his back and starts yelling suddenly with a very loud voice. It is unlikely an attempt to call his mother for help -  the light weihgt bitch will not stand against the big aggressor. Rather, it attempts to bring the enemy into confusion at least for a short time to give Shiba puppy enough chances to escape.

Aversion to the physical contacts with another beings is retained in an adult Shiba Inu. They are relatively quarrelsome with other dogs, and even with their own offspring they do not seek any more or less close contact, even during their sleep. Most of all Shiba Inu value their independence and they are ready to protect it from even more powerful rivals. Strong in character, this dogs may all their life struggle to become "the first dog in the house." Shiba Inu males can not tolerate the presence of other males and require obedience even from the females of larger breeds.

Individualism of Shiba Inu is the main difficulty in breeding of these dogs. If the breeder at a very early age will not accustom the puppy with the physical contact with people, the nature of Shiba Inu will prevail and, because of his innate aversion to touch, Shiba may never become accustomed to humans. Shiba is not afraid of a man, but mostly they do not allow to stroke them and also they may appear to be extremely critical of the collar and leash.

Many dogs of this breed, if they were born and raised in the aviary, can be caught only like a wild beast: backed into a corner where the dog can not slip out. However, even not accustomed to the human contacts, Shiba Inu is never aggressive when caught, he usually gives up and allows you to manipulate him almost without resistance. Unfortunately, there are also lines of Shiba Inu with a cowardly character. In Japan, these dogs are strictly and consistently discarded, because their descendants have a very unbalanced nervous system and may even bite the owner.

Shiba Inu by nature is very alert and serves well as a watchdog. This dog is curious and can spend the whole day at the window watching the street life. Shiba responds to every unusual event, and seeks an opportunity to participate in it. Shiba Inu is a good companion for the children's games and a tireless hiking companion. On the hunt Shiba Inu may be in danger: his snout is very similar to a fox, which may mislead some unexperienced hunters. Well, for Shiba's good luck, this kind of hunters can not shoot well.

Health problems: In general Shiba Inu is a very healthy breed. In some lines hip dysplasia and some alergies may be an issue.

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